BISHKEK, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- An international snow leopards protection meeting held here on Friday called for intensifying efforts to protect the endangered animal and their ecosystems.
All 12 countries of the snow leopard habitat approved the Bishkek Declaration of 2017 at the International Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Forum in the Kyrgyz capital. The Declaration reflects the determination of the participating countries to preserve snow leopard populations and to ensure the cultural, social and economic well-being of mountain communities.
Speaking at the forum, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev urged leaders and heads of relevant agencies from the countries of the snow leopard habitat to develop a comprehensive project to preserve its population.
He said that it is known that 15 years ago this species was on the verge of extinction. "As a result of joint efforts and with the support of partner countries, international organizations and financial institutions we managed to stop the snow leopard population decline in Kyrgyzstan," he said, noting snow leopard a sacred animal for Kyrgyz people and a vivid symbol of the mountain ecosystem of the Republic.
The forum brought together representatives of governments and international organizations of 12 range countries, donor agencies, conservation organizations and scientific institutions.
Forums on the conservation of the snow leopard have been holding since 2013. The purpose of the event is to attract the attention of the world community to the threat of the snow leopard disappearance, to agree on the cardinal steps to preserve the population of this animal and to discuss the protection of its areas at the international and national levels.
Snow leopard is a large predatory mammal from the family of felines, listed in the international Red book. Now in the wild, there are a little more than 3,000 individuals, about 300 of them on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan adopted the National Snow Leopard Strategy and to preserve the unique animal, the national nature park Khan-Tengri was established in the republic, the area of which exceeds 275,000 hectares. On its territory, scientists do a great job of monitoring the rare animal, which until now remains poorly understood due to the inaccessible habitat.